Collaborative governance: a holistic approach to managing the methamphetamine problem in the Western Cape

Visser, Anton (2017-12)

Thesis (PhD)--Stellenbosch University, 2017.

Thesis

ENGLISH SUMMARY : Public institutions in South Africa are increasingly required to respond effectively to serious societal problems. The year-on-year increase in the abuse of methamphetamine over the last decade in the Western Cape represents one such societal problem that needs to be effectively managed by public institutions in the Western Cape Province. Methamphetamine abuse is having a devastating effect on local communities and is causing irreparable damage to the lives of thousands of users and their families. Despite significant drug abuse prevention efforts of various public institutions, the private sector and local communities, methamphetamine abuse is fast becoming a societal problem of epidemic proportions. A definite need exists for re-thinking the way in which drug abuse is being managed in South Africa and the Western Cape Province in particular. Internationally, there seems to be general consensus that drug abuse needs to be addressed from a multi-disciplinary approach that will allow actions to be taken from various perspectives. This view is also held by South African public institutions and is in fact, entrenched in the South African Government’s National Drug Master Plan. Unfortunately, this does not translate into actual collaboration or any measure of sustainable results. To this end, the study was conducted for purposes of determining whether Collaborative Governance could serve as an appropriate management approach for addressing the Western Cape’s methamphetamine problem. In doing so, it was found that Collaborative Governance is inextricably linked to the concept of Holism. When a holistic state is realised, the measure of value that can be secured is more than that of the sum of individual efforts and should thus be pursued in the management of societal problems. However, whilst the realisation of a holistic state spontaneously occurs in nature, this is not the case in the management sciences, and hence the need for the adoption of a management approach that promotes this concept. The study therefore endeavoured to determine whether the proper implementation of the principles of Collaborative Governance can indeed result in added value being achieved as far as managing the methamphetamine problem is concerned. This study makes specific recommendations on how the principles of Collaborative Governance can be applied to managing the methamphetamine problem in order to ensure that it be addressed from a holistic perspective that can be expected to yield additional public value. This includes the development of what is believed to be an ideal system for the effective management of the methamphetamine problem, i.e. an Integrated Management System. Multiple research methods were employed during the course of the study of which the empirical dimension was both qualitative and quantitative in nature. This included survey research among members of the major drug management structures in the Western Cape, interviews with various participants, and observations and conducting a field experiment on the practical application of the principles of Collaborative Governance in a particular setting.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING : Doeltreffende optrede teen ernstige samelewingsprobleme word in ‘n toenemende mate van openbare instansies in Suid-Afrika verlang. Een so ’n probleem in Wes-Kaaplandse gemeenskappe, wat in die afgelope dekade jaarliks toegeneem het, en die noodsaaklikheid vir doeltreffende bestuur van die kant van openbare instansies benadruk, is die misbruik van metamfetamien. Dié verskynsel is besig om rampspoedige gevolge vir plaaslike gemeenskappe te hê en veroorsaak onherstelbare skade aan die lewens van duisende gebruikers en hulle gesinne. Ondanks beduidende voorkomingspogings deur verskeie openbare instansies, die privaatsektor en plaaslike gemeenskappe, is die misbruik van metamfetamien vinnig besig om ’n samelewingsprobleem van epidemiese afmetings te word. Daar bestaan ’n besliste behoefte dat die wyse waarop dwelmmisbruik in Suid-Afrika, en in Wes-Kaapland in die besonder, bestuur word, heroorweeg moet word. Dit wil voorkom of daar internasionaal konsensus bestaan dat dwelmmisbruik deur ’n multidissiplinêre benadering aangepak behoort te word wat optrede volgens verskeie perspektiewe sal meebring. Dié siening word ook deur Suid-Afrikaanse openbare instansies gehuldig en is inderwaarheid in die Suid-Afrikaanse regering se Nasionale Meesterplan teen Dwelmmisbruik veranker. Ongelukkig het dit nog nie werklike samewerking of enige mate van volhoubare resultate tot gevolg gehad nie. Hierdie studie is met die doel onderneem om te bepaal of Samewerkende Regering sou kon dien as ’n geskikte bestuursbenadering waarvolgens die misbruik van metamfetamien in Wes-Kaapland aangespreek sou kon word. Met die uitvoering hiervan is bevind dat Samewerkende Regering onlosmaaklik aan die konsep van holisme verbind is. In ’n toestand van holisme, is die mate van waarde wat bereik kan word groter as die somtotaal van individuele pogings. Dit ehoort derhalwe, wat die bestuur van samelewingsprobleme betref, nagestreef te word. Waar ’n toestand van holisme in die natuur spontaan voorkom, is dit in die bestuurswetenskappe egter nie die geval nie. Om dié rede is dit noodsaaklik dat ’n bestuursbenadering, wat dié konsep bevorder, aangeneem word. Hierdie studie het bepaal of die behoorlike implementering van die beginsels van Samewerkende Regering inderdaad tot die bereiking van bykomende waarde met die bestuur van die metamfetamien-probleem aanleiding kan gee. Hierdie studie doen spesifieke aanbevelings oor hoe die beginsels van Samewerkende Regering in die bestuur van die metamfetamien-probleem toegepas kan word om te verseker dat dit uit ’n holistiese perspektief aangespreek word wat na verwagting bykomende openbare waarde sal lewer. Dié sluit die ontwikkeling in van wat geglo word die ideale stelsel is vir die doeltreffende bestuur van die metamfetamien-probleem, naamlik ’n Geïntegreerde Bestuurstelsel. Veelvoudige navorsingsmetodes, waarvan die empiriese dimensie sowel kwalitatief as kwantitatief was, is gedurende die verloop van dié studie aangewend. Dit het opnamenavorsing onder lede van die belangrikste dwelmbestuurstrukture in Wes-Kaapland ingesluit, asook onderhoude met verskeie deelnemers, waarnemings en ‘n veldeksperiment oor die praktiese toepassing van die beginsels van Samewerkende Regering in ’n bepaalde omgewing.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/102843
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